Samsung Galaxy Note8 review

8.9/10 AVG.
RATING



8.9/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy Note8 currently has an Informr score of 8.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 85 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Bright, vivid screen
  • Blazing performance
  • Plenty of storage
  • S-Pen support
  • IP68 water and dustproofing
  • Great camera

What's bad

  • So-so battery life
  • Price
  • Too big for one-handed use
  • Awkward fingerprint scanner placement
  • Bixby still inaccurate

Samsung is back with the latest version of the Note series—the Galaxy Note8. While it still offers the innovative S-Pen stylus that no one else can touch, phones are getting bigger and more powerful.

It’s no longer unique to be a big phone, and the S8 offers power in spades. Does the Note8 still offer a unique value? More so, do reviewers find that the big features match the big price tag?

Reviewers are chiming in on their thoughts. Let’s see what they think!

The Note8 follows in the footsteps of the rest of the S8 series. The aluminum and glass chassis features a slimmer profile than competing phones and a seamless design with rounded screen edges and phone corners.

It’s IP68 water and dustproof. So don’t worry about using your new phone (or the S-Pen) in the rain or near the pool.

Reviewers loved the design, but found the corners uncomfortable in the pocket. Phone Scoop summed up opinions well, saying, “The uniformity of the shape, the thin profile, the luscious materials all make the Note8 something to lust after, just like they (still) do with the S8 and S8+.”

The front of the phone is reserved for Samsung’s 6.3-inch QHD AMOLED Infinity display. You’ll find no bezels on the size and minimal top and bottom space. This, combined with the 1440-by-2960 resolution means the phone is shaped more like a checkbook than the massive slab of phone the screen size might suggest.

The Guardian notes, “… that 6.3in screen is squeezed into a body that’s pretty much the same size as an iPhone 7 Plus.” Despite this, most reviewers found one-handed use next to impossible. Especially when paired with the odd placement of the fingerprint scanner on the rear of the phone.

Reviewers praised the screen for it’s inky blacks, 600 nits of brightness and sharp details. It also supports HDR video if you can find a good source.

Powering the phone is a 2.35Ghz octa-core Snapdragon processor and 6GB of RAM. As you’d expect from the top-tier components, there’s zero complaints here. Android Community noted, “You won’t be left wanting with the Galaxy Note8 in terms of performance.”

The phone ships with Android 7.1.1 Nougat and will see an update to 8.0 Oreo. While reviewers were once critical of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, they loved the latest version. In particular, most found the S-Pen integrations and split-screen modes handy and intuitive.

One area of software that didn’t impress reviewers was Bixby—Samsung’s new virtual assistant. From inaccurate voice recognition to triggering Bixby randomly through regular conversation, most found they went back to Google Assistant fast.

If you’re looking for a powerful camera, reviews indicate you’re in luck. The phone features a dual rear camera setup that allows for up to 2x optical zoom, optical image stabilization and the ability to capture RAW images. Reviewers raved about the camera.

Canadian Reviewer summed up opinions well, saying, “Samsung's pedigree as a camera manufacturer is evident. The Note8 is a very good camera and managed to take some striking landscape, portrait, macro and panoramic shots even on the automatic setting.”

Gizmodo agreed, declaring, “The Note8's Live Focus photos are just about the best that I've taken with a smartphone.”

You’ll find 64 to 256GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards up to 256GB. That leaves plenty of room to store your favorite shots or record 4K video.

Samsung crammed a 3300mAh battery into the sleek Note8. Reviews show it’s good for a full day of moderate use. However, heavy users might need to find a charger after the sun sets. Gizmodo noted, “I doubt you'd get more than a full day's enjoyment out of the Note8 unless you switched on Samsung's power saving mode early on in the day.”

Fortunately, the phone supports fast charging through both USB-C and wireless chargers. So keeping the phone juiced up is easy.

Overall, reviews indicate the phone is a solid comeback from the fiasco that was the Note 7. The only thing reviewers questioned was price. If you’re not looking for the S-Pen functionality, many reviews recommended saving money and sticking with the S8 or S8 Plus.

V3 summed up recommendations well, saying, “Yes, it's a large smartphone - probably too large for most people's uses, and that criticism extends to the price. However, if you are after a 'phablet' sized smartphone this is probably the very best that your money can buy.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.35 GHz
Screen Size
6.3"
Camera
12+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Android Central

Even as we rapidly approach the Galaxy Note 9's announcement, the Note 8 has really held up well. One of the benefits of Samsung's delicate release cycle over the past couple of generations is that the "old" phones don't really feel all that old even a year into their life. Add on the amazing consis...

- Andrew Martonik, Android Central
Android Central

With the new Oreo software on board, it's a really good phone that feels modern and worth the money even in April 2018. The latest software hasn't slowed down like Nougat did for me, the hardware still looks and feels great, the screen is fantastic, and the cameras are very capable.

- Andrew Martonik, Android Central
BGR

It is still one of the best ones you can pick up today, but in the long term, there are these minor issues that you may come across. I reiterate, these were the rare occasional issues, but yes, they were there.

- Ritesh Bendre, BGR
GSMArena

The Galaxy Note8 is without a doubt the best Samsung smartphone ever. It's also the most powerful and most beautiful S Pen-wielding device in history, and that's important to note for fans of the stylus.

- GSMArena
Know Your Mobile

The Galaxy Note 8 has a fantastic battery. It is not the best in Samsung’s current range, but it’s so close that it doesn’t really matter, and even so this puts it far ahead of the vast majority of the competition.

- Paul Briden, Know Your Mobile


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Samsung released the Galaxy Note8 on September 15, 2017.


The Galaxy Note8 price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Samsung Galaxy Note8 prices from around the web here on The Informr.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung Galaxy Note8 user manual here.


Samsung backs up the Galaxy Note8 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Galaxy Note8 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
6.3"

The Samsung Galaxy Note8's screen size is 6.3 inches with 1440 x 2960 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.35 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8998 napdragon 835 Octa core 2.35 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 7.1.1 Nougat (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo) operating system (OS).

Camera
12+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64/128/256 GB

Internal memory is 64/128/ 256 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 256 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3300mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3300 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 1980 minutes, 840 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy Note8 Specs

Overview
Release date September 15, 2017
Regions available USA, Canada, UK, India
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600/2300/2500 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 7.1.1 Nougat (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8998 napdragon 835 Octa core 2.35 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 64/128/ 256 GB
RAM 6 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.73 W/kg
Body: 0.93 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headset, Data Cable, Stylus
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3300 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging Yes
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 960 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 840 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Up to: 780 minutes
Talk Time Up to: 1980 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 3.9 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Midnight Black, Deepsea Blue, Orchid Gray, Maple Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 16.2 x 7.5 x 0.9 cm (6.4 x 3 x 0.4 in)
Weight 195 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 68
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1440 x 2960 pixels
Pixel density 521 pixels
Size 6.3 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Infinity Display
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 256 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 2.4
Resolution
12+ megapixels
Dual lens
Yes
Zoom
2x optical, 10x digital
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, Dual camera feature (12 MP 2nd camera, f/1.7), HDR, Slow motion recording (HD 240fps), Time lapse mode, Voice activation
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, ASF, FLV, AVI, MKV
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Auto focus, f/1.7, Wide Selfie
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AMR, AMR-WB, MIDI, MP3, M4A, OGG, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, ASF, AVI, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MKV, MPEG-4, WMV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (NexRadio)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments

International version has Samsung Exynos 9 Octa 8895 Octa core 2.3 GHz processor
Also available in dual SIM variant

Additional Sensors: Iris sensor, Barometer, HR sensor

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy Note8 Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy Note8
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Critic Reviews


Android Central

Big, powerful, and due for a refresh

from Android Central

Even as we rapidly approach the Galaxy Note 9's announcement, the Note 8 has really held up well. One of the benefits of Samsung's delicate release cycle over the past couple of generations is that the "old" phones don't really feel all that old even a year into their life. Add on the amazing con...More

Even as we rapidly approach the Galaxy Note 9's announcement, the Note 8 has really held up well. One of the benefits of Samsung's delicate release cycle over the past couple of generations is that the "old" phones don't really feel all that old even a year into their life. Add on the amazing consistency of its hardware, and with updates, software, and the year-old Note 8 doesn't feel like a relic in the least.

Read full review

Less

Android Central

A great phone that nobody should buy anymore

from Android Central

With the new Oreo software on board, it's a really good phone that feels modern and worth the money even in April 2018. The latest software hasn't slowed down like Nougat did for me, the hardware still looks and feels great, the screen is fantastic, and the cameras are very capable.

Read full review

With the new Oreo software on board, it's a really good phone that feels modern and worth the money even in April 2018. The latest software hasn't slowed down like Nougat did for me, the hardware still looks and feels great, the screen is fantastic, and the cameras are very capable.

Read full review

Less

BGR

Still a hot pick

from BGR

It is still one of the best ones you can pick up today, but in the long term, there are these minor issues that you may come across. I reiterate, these were the rare occasional issues, but yes, they were there.

Read full review

It is still one of the best ones you can pick up today, but in the long term, there are these minor issues that you may come across. I reiterate, these were the rare occasional issues, but yes, they were there.

Read full review

Less

GSMArena

Ideal for creative work, as well as precise power user tasks

The Galaxy Note8 is without a doubt the best Samsung smartphone ever. It's also the most powerful and most beautiful S Pen-wielding device in history, and that's important to note for fans of the stylus.

Read full review

The Galaxy Note8 is without a doubt the best Samsung smartphone ever. It's also the most powerful and most beautiful S Pen-wielding device in history, and that's important to note for fans of the stylus.

Read full review

Less

Know Your Mobile

The biggest Super AMOLED display to date

from Know Your Mobile

The Galaxy Note 8 has a fantastic battery. It is not the best in Samsung’s current range, but it’s so close that it doesn’t really matter, and even so this puts it far ahead of the vast majority of the competition.

Read full review

The Galaxy Note 8 has a fantastic battery. It is not the best in Samsung’s current range, but it’s so close that it doesn’t really matter, and even so this puts it far ahead of the vast majority of the competition.

Read full review

Less

G Style Magazine

One of my favorite devices

from G Style Magazine

With its massive size it brings one of the best displays on the market in a smartphone and its hardware insides prove a great user experience making multitasking a breeze while having sufficient battery which can easily be replenished with its quick charging.

Read full review

With its massive size it brings one of the best displays on the market in a smartphone and its hardware insides prove a great user experience making multitasking a breeze while having sufficient battery which can easily be replenished with its quick charging.

Read full review

Less

Photography Blog

A good example of doing a lot of things right

from Photography Blog

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a great option for those who are interested in both a dual lens setup plus the ability to take a good degree of manual control. It also looks sleek and stylish, with a huge screen which really makes your images pop.

Read full review

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a great option for those who are interested in both a dual lens setup plus the ability to take a good degree of manual control. It also looks sleek and stylish, with a huge screen which really makes your images pop.

Read full review

Less

Paste Magazine

Samsung sets the bar again

from Paste Magazine

If you’re looking for the best of the best, the Note 8 is easily the most impressive phone we’ve seen so far this year and one of the best Android phones you can find period.

Read full review

If you’re looking for the best of the best, the Note 8 is easily the most impressive phone we’ve seen so far this year and one of the best Android phones you can find period.

Read full review

Less

The Next Web

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 holds up over time

from The Next Web

A large part of its appeal is surprisingly software rather than specs, but on both counts Note 8 is probably the most versatile smartphone you can buy right now – especially if you want to scribble on a screen.

Read full review

A large part of its appeal is surprisingly software rather than specs, but on both counts Note 8 is probably the most versatile smartphone you can buy right now – especially if you want to scribble on a screen.

Read full review

Less

The Verge

Most video versatile phone

from The Verge

The Note 8 is the most versatile when it comes to video, but its still photos (front and back) are just too much of a step behind the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 XL to push it ahead of either of those phones.

Read full review

The Note 8 is the most versatile when it comes to video, but its still photos (front and back) are just too much of a step behind the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 XL to push it ahead of either of those phones.

Read full review

Less



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